The Heirloom Project, 2014

The Heirloom Project took place in the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis in the fall of 2014. The concept was simple; make murals of heirloom seeds and plants grown in my neighborhood, on garages in my community. I led walking tours of the murals and during the tours I also taught about how to save the seeds of the plants in the murals.  I made a map and distributed it to coffee shops and community centers so that people could take a "self-guided" walking tour of the murals.  The map is attached and you can take a tour yourself!

Usually, we think of an inheritance as money or precious objects. With the Heirloom Project, I asked my neighbors to think about heirloom plants as something we have inherited from those who planted plants these before us and saved their seeds. We cherish and value these plants – and we hope we can pass them on to the future. This is what seed saving is all about. The Heirloom Project is a visual reminder of this idea. I hope this work will spark dialogue about our role in sustaining our community today and into the future. 

Throughout time, people have saved seeds, helping to preserve diversity for generations to come – a moving example of the creation of a common inheritance.


“Heirlooms in the alley: a blooming public art project in Minneapolis” by Kim Palmer Star Tribune, September 17, 2014.

“A Bean Story or Art, Accused of Trying to Teach,” by Christina Schmid, Quodlibetica, Issue: Constellation 17, December 1, 2011.

This project was made possible with support from

The Minnesota State Arts Board, Artist Initiative Grant 2014